Fans of HeeHaw Horseradish already know about the handshake deal with a Dragon, made in May and televised in December.
The Oak Bay family behind HeeHaw, Graham Bavington, wife Pam and children Sara and Matthew, pitched the family business to the CBC show Dragons’ Den in August, made the show in May and their episode aired in December.
“We were really happy the way it happened,” Graham said. “The edit was amazing.”
The Bavingtons sought $75,000 for 15 per cent of the business and Dragons Joe Mimran, John Treliving and Manjit Minhas made matching offers.
“Four Dragons gave us offers and we did a hand shake deal on the show with Manjit Minhas,” Graham Bavington said. “We chose Manjit not only because she agreed to what we asked for, but really because of her production experience. Her family works with complex beer and spirit recipes. So why not horseradish, right? That was our thinking.”
They kept the secret for months during negotiations, a workout that Graham says only benefits the business. But in the end, they plan to maintain the family business.
“(Minhas is) amazing, her team is amazing and we’ve loved our time with her, but as it turns out, sometimes through negotiations we just couldn’t come to terms on a solid deal,” Graham said. “We’ve made the decision to continue on our own without outside investment at this time and just keep going after it. We’ve learned so much from this entire process, about ourselves, our products, our customers, and we’re going to put all of that to work for us. It’s an exciting time to be Hee-Haw.”
Graham instigated the business that now involves a variety of family members in 2014. In a Central Saanich commercial kitchen, family members hand-peel horseradish – that’s the first ingredient, as opposed to the parsnips that populate many commercial brands – and grind it with tears streaming. They quickly developed the Damn Hot and Double Damn Hot popular at street markets around the region, and in the past year on many store shelves.
They recently launched the SeaHorseradish, a seafood sauce, and branched out to more than 400 stores.
Visit www.heehawhorseradish.com or find them on Facebook to learn more about the business.